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Mike Clevinger to San Diego

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The Indians have sent righthanded pitcher Mike Clevinger to the Padres for prospects

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Clevinger, subject of many trade rumors the past few days, is going to the Cleveland Indians to the San Diego Padres, along with Greg Allen and a player to be named later, for Cal Quantrill, Josh Naylor, Joey Cantillo, Gabriel Arias, Austin Hedges and Owen Miller.

Clevinger is a 29 year old righthanded starting pitcher who was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft out of Seminole Community College by the Anaheim Angels, and dealt to the Indians in 2014 for Vinnie Pestano. Once he arrived in Cleveland, Clevinger developed into a legitimate top of the rotation starter, having put up a 3.20 ERA and a 3.58 FIP in 523.1 IP, with a 12.8 bWAR. Clevinger is under team control for two more years after this year, so the Padres are getting a guy at the top of his game who is not just a rental.

Clevinger became the subject of rumors after he was banished from the team and sent to the Alternate Team Site for violating the COVID-19 protocols while the team was in Chicago — he and fellow pitcher Zach Plesac went out and, after Plesac was busted, Clevinger initially didn’t say anything about having been with him, and flew home with the team before his presence with Plesac was revealed. Clevinger was ultimately recalled, but there was unhappiness with him from both the players and the front office, which helped motivate the team to deal him.

Greg Allen is 27 year old switch-hitting outfielder who hasn’t hit much, but can play all three outfield positions. He’s also a native of San Diego, and was drafted in the 6th round by the Indians in 2014 out of San Diego State, so that’s fun.

Naylor, 23, is a lefthanded hitter who has played left field for the Padres, but is generally considered to be best suited to be a DH. He has a career .253/.315/.405 slash line in the majors in 317 plate appearances, but has shown the skills in the minors to be a guy who gets on base and hits for power.

Quantrill, 25, is a righthanded pitcher who was the #8 overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Stanford. The Padres selected him while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, and he was a consensus top 50 prospect at one point, but he’s not developed as expected. He spent the bulk of last year in the majors, mostly in the rotation, and has been working mostly in relief in 2020. He has a career 4.79 ERA and 4.23 FIP in 120.1 IP between 19 major league starts and 14 relief appearances, and it will be interesting to see if he is moved back to the rotation or if Cleveland uses him as a reliever.

Arias, 20, is a terrific defensive shortstop who put up an 809 OPS in the Cal League in 2019. There’s a lot of concern about his plate discipline — he had 128 Ks against 25 walks last year — but there’s a lot of upside there as well.

Cantillo, 20, is a big lefthander who was a 16th round pick of the Padres in 2017 out of high school in Hawaii, but who got signed for $302,500 due to the Padres betting on his ability to add velocity. He’s not a fireballer, but he has pitchability and put up a 1.93 ERA in 98 IP in the low-A Midwest League in 2019 before a late-season promotion to the Cal League.

Miller, 23, was the Padres’ third round pick out of Illinois State University in 2018. He put up 785 OPS in the Texas League in 2019 while splitting time between shortstop and second base.

Finally, Austin Hedges is a guy we all know about. The 28 year old is the new Jeff Mathis, having been drafted in the second round in 2011 despite major questions about his bat due to his god-tier defensive skills. Hedges has a career .199/.257/.359 slash line in 1339 plate appearances, and just a 0.7 bWAR, but he’s considered to be elite behind the plate.

This deal is reminiscent, to me, of the Texas Rangers’ trade for Cole Hamels. The Padres, like the Rangers at the time, gave up a lot of players, but they have held on to their top prospects, using their depth of red chip types to allow them to make a deal with substantial quantity while still keeping their blue chip prospects.